“It is adults and kids that come out of Uganda in an orphanage which was started by a missionary where it now travels around the world and one of their stops is Taber, Alberta,” said Simon Bekkering, a representative with the Taber Christian Reformed Church in making his waiver request presentation to the recreation board at its April 3 meeting.
Watoto children are orphans from the AIDS epidemic and war-torn areas of Uganda. All proceeds from the choir event go to supporting the orphanage there.
In previous trips to Taber day and evening concerts were put on, but due to scheduling constraints, only an evening performance will be put on, on April 22.
“When you have something at the Civic Centre, you seem to raise a lot more money than if you have it at another building. We have had it at our church before and we raised about $3,500 for the orphanage. When we had it at the Civic Centre we raised just over $10,000,” said Bekkering, of the draw of the town-owned Taber Community Centre. “There is something about the community centre that brings people together. They don’t feel threatened or there is any agenda there. They come from all ethnic backgrounds, churches and religions, they all come in there as a community event. Whether it’s flood relief, or a bible camp, people come. The name of the game is to try and raise as much money for these kids as possible.”
Bekkering highlighted other community members and organizations that have got behind the project including contributions of advertising, hotel rooms, bus maintenance, a meal before the concert and eight host families for the choir etc.
“This is an event many in the community are getting behind,” said Bekkering.
The waiver request for the total rental fee for the event on April 22 in hosting the Watoto African Children’s Choir would total $402.
“You factor it all in and it would be a nickel per person for the Town of Taber. This is for orphans whose parents have died from AIDS or war. The organization has a very excellent web page that you can check out to see if they are legit or not,” said Bekkering. “They take abandoned babies and take care of them which is part of the Watoto program. I think it’s a great way to show compassion and support these kids.”
After the presentation, Taber Recreation Board members unanimously passed a motion to recommend the Christian Reformed Church recreation facility rental fee request be submitted to town council for approval.